Media in the Press 19.1.11

POST-graduate Journalism student, Patrick McPartlin, from Edinburgh Napier University casts his eye over the media stories in today’s papers…

Sir Terry Wogan, the former BBC Radio 2 breakfast host, is in the papers for the second day running, with the Daily Express (page 8) and the Herald (page 9) reporting that the former Eurovision presenter is due to join BBC Radio 4 programme, Just a Minute. The Daily Record (page 11) and The Scottish Sun’s television supplement TV Biz (page 3) also run this story.

The Scotsman, meanwhile, is reporting (page 24) that Taggart actor, John Michie, who plays DI Robbie Ross in the long-running Glasgow police drama, is to help launch and participate in this year’s BUPA Great Edinburgh Run on October 2nd.

Elsewhere, former Daily Mirror editor, Piers Morgan, made his debut on the successor programme to the American talk show, ‘Larry King Live’, after its eponymous host hung up his trademark braces last month, following a 25-year stint on the 24-hour news network, CNN. The Scottish Daily Express reports (page 17) that ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ received mixed reviews from the American press, with the Boston Globe reported to have described Morgan as: “…charming, vain, well-informed, and fawning – but mostly just fawning”. Morgan did, however, receive positive praise from the Philadelphia Inquirer, which is said to have described him as: “high-energy, enthusiastic, effusive, playful, fascinated”. Mirror sister title, the Daily Record (page 18), provides a favourable report whilst The Sun’s Pete Samson offers a more in-depth review in its TV supplement, highlighting his style of interviewing as being able to potentially boost ratings for CNN.

The Sun also reports on alleged ‘bullying’ tactics (page 2) by Tom Baldwin, spin doctor to Labour leader, Ed Milliband, who is said to have asked BBC, Sky and ITV to refer to the government as ‘Tory-led’ rather than ‘coalition.’ One TV boss is quoted as saying: “There’s a bullying tone. We’ll continue to use factual language.” There is also a report (page 9) about an anonymous married TV star who has successfully won the right to a gagging order, preventing his mistress from revealing details of their 11-month affair. The Scottish Daily Express (page 17) also covers this story, adding that the star and his wife have teenage children who they want to protect.

The Scottish Daily Mail has a near full-page article (page 5) on controversial Glaswegian comedian, Frankie Boyle. The comedian’s Channel 4 show, Tramadol Nights, was reportedly one of the most complained-about programmes of last year, with media regulator, Ofcom, currently investigating Boyle over remarks he made about glamour model, Katie Price’s disabled son, Harvey. Channel 4’s new chief creative officer, Jay Hunt, is expected to cancel the show, which only managed 400,000 viewers by the end of the six-part series. John Whittingdale, the Tory chair of the media select committee at Westminsterm is quoted, saying: “Frankie Boyle is a repeat offender and Ofcom needs to look at his show as I think he has broken the broadcasting rules.”

Moving on, BBC reporter, as reported yesterday, Justin Webb, has revealed that his biological father is none other than former BBC newsreader Peter Woods. The Scottish Daily Mail (page 17) and the Scottish Daily Express (pp 24-25) both cover the tale, with Webb revealing that his decision came partly as a result of wanting his children to know, and is quoted, saying: “They began to enquire, in that penetrating way children have, why didn’t Daddy have a father?”

And lastly, former BBC newsreader, Peter Sissons, has waded into the ageism row embroiling the BBC by slamming his former employers’ decision to choose Huw Edwards rather than David Dimbleby, to cover the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. In Richard Kay’s column in the Scottish Daily Mail (page 35) Sissons is quoted, saying: “You can call it ageism or sexism or what you will. They [the BBC] treat everyone – men and women alike – disgracefully.” Question Time host, Dimbleby, who has commentated on royal proceedings for nearly four decades, has made no comment on the decision. This comes in the wake of 53 year-old Miriam O’Reilly successfully suing the BBC for age discrimination following her dismissal as presenter of the station’s Countryfile programme.